MBA-HR after 5 years of professional job in AOL and IBM joins family business of Kirana Store and eventually opens Up a Modern Super Market (6-10)

He graduated with Bachelors of Commerce from Maharana Bhopal (MB) College, Udaipur, Rajasthan state, India in 2002. Then he moved to Banglore, Karnataka State in India and enrolled for executive program in MBA-HR from Symbiosis College in Pune. As he wanted to work while studying, he opted for distance learning program. He took up night time job in American Online (AOL) as a call center executive. Then in 2004 he moved to HR-employee relations in the same company. He completed his MBA-HR in 2005.

During the same period due to family reasons he had to move to Udaipur. He then took up the job at Birla Sunlife as a life insurance agency manager. His role was of a team leader, train the team on the different life insurance products and help close deals. Again this was a different field altogether. He was now in hardcore finance away from the softcore humans. He worked here for 6 months and again moved back to Banglore. In mid of 2006 he joined AOL in the HR department.

Aliasger Kanoorwala-2In the end of 2006 he joined IBM as HR Team lead – Recruitment. He worked here for next 1 year before making the most critical decision of his life.

In year 2008, again due to family  pressure he had to leave the job at IBM and move back to Udaipur and join the family business of kirana store. It was an emotional call. Their family business was split in 2002 and his father and uncle were given Kiran store business unit.

Well he entered a different world. It wasn’t any rosy picture. Gone were the days of Ac office, Ac cabs to drop to office and pickup you up. No more 8-5 office hours, 5 days a week and the TGIF syndrome (Thank God It’s Friday). Climate wise also it was thorny; it was a nightmare for him.

Well it was a great setback for Ali Asger coming from corporate life of AOL & IBM to a 320 sqr feet kirana store at Hathi Pole, Udaipur. He had to start from scratch. But this allowed him to gain proper insight into the business, different work culture/different style of working, from laptops and systematic approach to totally what he calls a ‘jugaadu system’. He was extremely patient and did not give up. Mental preparation played the key role, “take what is coming”. Not to give up with combination to give more that 100%. “Stick to Basics”.  He kindled the discussion that they are 5 people in the business and they need to explore other opportunities. They already were granted Raza Mubarak of Aqa Moula (tus) to expand the business with the name of “AKS Foods”  and hence in 2010, they  registered the firm in this name. Like this he spent the next 5 years until end of 2012, learning at the same time waiting for the right time to come.

In 2013 Ali’s cousin was approached by the owner of this new building to find a customer who could hire their large space in Panchwati area, to which they concluded, ‘why not us’! He conceived the idea of putting another store with modern amenities and infrastructure. He wanted to open a super market there. Well his family had their apprehensions as Big Bazar and Reliance Fresh were near by. But with his confidence it was pure “Do or Die” attitude. From extremely patient to a rebellious frame; “Let’s expand or he is going back to Banglore”, was his final call!

Then came the magic moment! Though his father and uncle were not too keen of the idea initially as he says they had lost the appetite for taking risk which is right on their part. But they got convinced with Ali Asger’s confidence and perseverance; gathered courage to take the big risk and said ‘YES’. They took up the space, new set of furniture, software, planning and execution. Thus came up the 3200 sq ft., the modern super market “The Upkar Store” in April 2013 at Panchwati.

Aliasger Kanoorwala-1Today they have 2 branches, the new 3200 sqr. ft Panchwati Upkar Store and the old Hathi Pole store which is also undergoing renovation. From the initial staff of 5 family members and 3 staff they grew to 5+25, total 30 people now. He is supported by his cousins Shabir and Qaid Johar Abbas Kanorwala along with his father and uncle Abbas bhai. They are to him as he calls, “a spine to his body without a rock solid spine the body cannot move”.

Store is very well managed that you can easily find what you need. There is large range of products to select from FMCG to kirana items and dry fruits.

Ali’s education played the key role in the expansion and establish this new setup. The analysis of customer behavior and the changing requirements of the modern day customers, greatly contributed to his planning. Managing the work force in Mewar is a big challenge. With his HR background he was able to increase and manage a work force of 25, 8 times over his old team. Indeed, the brand name ‘Upkar’ played the key role and Ali was smart enough to capitalize on this brand name.

He feels really very proud and very satisfying. His patience and learning he obtained in initial 5 years eventually paid off. His father and uncle are also very proud and do not regret giving their son the free hand to expand the business.

His future plan is to go online and do a virtual setup. He has to plan for the required logistics and other infrastructure to support these initiatives.

Ali Asger Kanorwala quotes :

“Never Give Up. No age is barrier to growth. Start Humble, Aim and Sky is the limit”

 “Success is a Journey, not a destination. Keep moving.”

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About Feroz Tapiya 32 Articles
Feroz Tapiya, founder and Editor-in-Chief of YourBizzJourney.com, with a background in IT & Business Consulting is CBO at Business Causeway MiddleEast. He is ex-IT Manager Xerox – Alghanim Industries, ex-IT Manager Dar Al-Handashah, Sk Jaber Causweway project in Kuwait.

8 Comments

  1. Keep it up dear, yes you are right success is a journey,not a destination.keep moving . I was , I am and I will always with you .

    • Thank you abbas uncle. Have always looked for your support and guidance. You are truly wonderful and we always look upon you to get inspirations and learning.

  2. We all are proud of you and wish loads and loads of success for you in future. Keep inspiring all of us with your work . God bless you. May allah keep showering his blessings on you.

  3. Well said never give up –
    ” He who perseveres patiently will not be deprived of success, no matter how long it takes.”
    Each man’s worth is what he does well.

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